Apply for a Special Event Permit

Welcome and thank you for your interest in holding a special event in the City of Oakland! Special events play a key role in promoting a vibrant, diverse and creative community.

Attention: We do not handle reservations for facilities, parks or recreation centers.

If you are booking a park or recreation center for your special event, submit your rental application to Central Reservations.

In February 2023 the City of Oakland launched a new one stop shop approach for special event permitting led by the Economic and Workforce Development Department. Background information on this can be found here: Special Events 2023 Informational Memorandum

Information on the new application fees, deadlines, fee discounts and insurance requirements can be found here: Special Event Tier Definitions, Fees & Application Deadlines

Before you Start

You only need a special event permit if your event consists of 50 or more people, it is open to the public (as in advertised to the public or has tickets sold on any media platform) and includes entertainment (e.g., recorded or live music, public speakers, dancers, exhibitions, etc.) or you have an ABC Day License Application requiring a signature from the Oakland Police Department.

Please review our Special Event Checklist as a guide to help you plan and execute a successful event.

Review our Special Event Application Guide for a step-by-step overview on how to apply through the City of Oakland's Online Permit Center.

To see if your event qualifies for fee discounts, please see Special Event Fee Discounts.

For information regarding ongoing street closures please review the new Flex Streets License Requirements.


What to Do

Fill out the form below to receive a special event permit.

Apply For a Special Event Permit

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Special Event Permit Application

    Submit as complete of an application as you can. The more complete the application, the more likely you will be issued a special event permit without delays.

  2. Connect with your representative

    Upon receiving your completed special event permit Application, a representative from the City of Oakland will review your application and determine the next steps.

  3. Meet with the Special Event Review Board if necessary

    Meet with City representatives from Police, Fire and other City Departments if necessary.

  4. Meet any additional requirements and pay associated fees

    The review board may assess additional requirements and fees depending on the nature of your event.

  5. Receive your Special Event Permit

    If you are planning a street closure intended for residents only, not the general public, you should complete a Short Term Encroachment Permit Application.

    Special Event Access for People with Disabilities

    It is the policy of the City of Oakland to make its special events accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with ADA requirements. Special events include indoor and outdoor concerts, festivals, fairs, luncheons, ceremonies and other activities to which the public is invited, whether held on City property or at other sites. Read the Special Event Access Policy.

    ADA Programs Division staff has received numerous inquiries about the policy. The ADA Special Events Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document answers these concerns. Additionally, ADA Programs hosts City employee training courses on the ADA Special Events Policy. The City's ADA Special Events Policy Training Course is available for immediate download.

    More information can be found here on the ADA Programs website under Policy

    *Do you need an ASL, Cantonese, Mandarin or Spanish interpreter or other assistance to participate? Please email or call (510) 238-4734 or (510) 238-5219 for TDD/TTY five days in advance.

    ¿Necesita un intérprete en español, cantonés o mandarín, u otra ayuda para participar? Por favor envíe un correo electró o llame al (510) 238-4734 o al (510) 238-5219 Para TDD/TTY por lo menos cinco días antes de la reunión. Gracias.

    你需要手語, 西班牙語, 粵語或國語翻譯服務嗎?請在會議前五個工作天電郵 或致電 (510) 238-4734(510) 238-5219 TDD/TTY。

We want your feedback!

Share your recommendations on how we can improve the special event permitting process here!


Economic & Workforce Development
Special Activity Permits - *We do not handle reservations for any facilities, parks or recreation centers

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